Brandon as Constantine the African
A few months ago, I began work on a project as the costume designer for the traveling exhibit of 1001 Inventions, which just ended its stay at the New York Hall of Science in Queens and is now on its way to LA where I will begin the process again. Here are a few photos highlighted in the New York Times featuring a handful of the costumes I sewed. In all, it totaled over 60 garments created in 30 days.
I had a great time collaborating with the museum and exhibit producers to design and create the look for each character. For more on the project, check out my blog post about the process.
Part of the replica elephant water clock and one of Dinne’s tents glowing in the background with two Explainers.
I have exciting news to share! My third book is underway and it’s all about patternmaking. It’s to be published by Lark Books next year and will demonstrates 28 fashion sewing projects. Tentatively titled Skirt-A-Day, it chronicles how to draft your own patterns, as well as includes full-sized patterns for you to stitch, alter, and make your own. I couldn’t be more excited about it. Many thanks to Kate McKean (my agent extraordinaire) for helping make it happen, and to Sloan Howard who helped with the amazing photos for my proposal. I couldn’t have done it without you!
In the upcoming issue of Threads (#146, December ’09/January ’10), you can find a project I made in the Quick to Sew department. The circle vest pictured below is not only quick to sew, but it looks great on almost all figures.
“To create this vest in less than an hour, you use two measurements to draft a circle and then just cut fabric and bind the edges… Whether you make it in a lightweight fabric or in a cozy knit, this vest is the perfect addition to any wardrobe regardless of the season.”
For the full how-to visit the Threads blog, or check out the article in issue #146.
For an embellishment technique that’s both feminine and edgy, try adding chain to your next sewing project. In Threads #145 (November 2009), you can find my article “Chain Gang,” which demonstrates how to attach chain to fabric using both hand and machine techniques.
“Chain isn’t just for motorcycle jackets anymore. It can be surprisingly feminine when applied in the right way and paired with the right fabric. Chain is available in myriad link and metal types… and can be found in countless weights to suit your style… To keep the look more ladylike than rock-n-roll, stick with traditional fabrics and textures. Adorning your garments and accessories with chain is an exciting way to breathe new life into any traditional pattern.”
This month, my profile on aspiring fashion illustrator Jenna Loofe is highlighted in Threads #143. Having viewed her illustrations in person, I must say Jenna uses pencil unlike any other illustrator I’ve come across. The way she layers colors breathes new life into traditional illustration and makes her garments almost appear tactile.
“Fashion illustration has become an art form in itself, inspiring fashion designers and home sewers alike. Great illustrators such as Erte and Rene Bouche rendered garments that graced magazine covers for several decades.
Until the 1930s, Vogue covers typically featured fanciful drawings of the latest fashions. Today, fashion designers look to illustrators to convey the feeling that accompanies their garments–to inspire the view with an added style. Unlike technical flats, a fashion illustration can be entirely fantasy on figures that seem to defy science.
An artist at heart, aspiring fashion illustrator Jenna Loofe has developed a style all her own, drawing with layers of colored pencil to create a stylish, sleek look…”
Before you kick off the warmer season with sewing new garments for summer, check out my article in the latest issue of Threads(#143, July 2009) on how to make details like seams, facings, and pockets disappear in summer-weight fabrics like linen.
“Nothing says summer more than a crisp, linen garment, but often, the lightweight fabric allows interior construction details such as pockets, darts, seam allowances, and facings to show through to the outside. If you want to stay cool, lining the garment just isn’t an option, but adding skin-toned backing to those details will prevent them from showing through without adding bulk…
…Flesh-toned facings in a few strategic places will dramatically improve the overall look of your summer-weight garments. With the few simple techniques shown here, you’ll be able to conceal your garment’s inner construction details and get that breezy summertime look in no time.”
Looking for a quick project that looks great and is easy to sew? Look no further than the current issue of Threads (#143, July 2009) for my article on a bias top made from fabric squares called “Get Biased”.
“Stitch a bias top that’s as easy to sew as it is comfortable to wear. The trick to sewing a successful bias garment is to engineer the design with sewing on the straight or cross-grain of the fabric, and this top does just that by piecing together two squares of fabric. It’s all about simple pattern, fast cutting, and quick sewing. Once you’ve master the steps, you can change the details to make it your own.”
For the how-to, check out Threads #143.
In the current issue (#142, May 2009) of Threads, you can find my article reviewing pattern-making software called “Find Your Fit: The latest pattern-drafting software gets you there fast.” I had such an incredible time reviewing each of the programs featured, including Bernina’s MyLabel, Patternmaker’s Professional Studio 7, and WildGinger’s Patternmaker Boutique Version 4.
“One of the greatest advantages of knowing how to sew is that you can create your own custom-made clothing; however, finding a pattern that fits well and flatters can sometimes prove to be a challenge. Patterns come in standard sizes that don’t always match your body’s dimensions, but the perfect fit might not be as far away as you think. Pattern-drafting software allows you to input your own measurements and draft your own custom-fit patterns…”
There’s more to dorm decor than posters and twin extra-longs. Add some style, organization, and comfort to your room with bold rugs and lampshades, oversize floor pillows, embellished message boards and mirrors, custom bedding, curtains and more. The sewing projects in this book take a few hours to finish, some no-sew options even less, so you can easily transform your whole room into a plush home away from home. Inspiring photos fully decorated rooms, straightforward step-by-step directions, pattern pieces, how-to illustrations, and small-space floor plans make an eye-catching facelift simple to pull off. It’s a perfectly productive way to procrastinate.
The decorating and craft techniques you learn in Dorm Decor will take you well beyond school–use your skills to make all new accessories for your first (and second and third) apartment. Until then, living in the dorms never looked so good!
Hang-over Helper Eyeshade Yes, we know how that freshman year can be. You’re free to do exactly what you want, and sometimes that means a little excess in the cocktail department. Whether you’re suffering from a late night of studying or socializing (or just want to get some Z’s before your roommate hits the lights), this eyeshade is just the thing to block out the world. For a complete video tutorial on how to create this project, check out this post on the blog.
Oh Dear, Deer Head For the animal lover, activist, or simply anyone with a sense of humor, this faux buck with make any dorm-room dweller proud. Hang a scarf or hat on his antlers, keeping floors free and clear, or use him as witty wall art. For the complete how-to (including templates!) check out this post on the Chronicle Books blog.
Where You Hang Out (Chapter4) Get your pad party-ready. The projects in this chapter are all about comfort for lounging around in your room. A cheery bean bag and cozy fleece throw, wild felt rug, dreamy lighting–it’s all you need to set the scene. You could even host a Girl’s Night In and make a few of the projects together. Then prepare yourself for serious hallway envy.
Cut-It-Out Felt Rug Non-fraying felt makes this project a cinch, and the zebra motif will have your hallmates demanding where you found it. It’s so simple you can adjust the technique to make a rug in just about any size or style, including a welcome mat (or good-bye mat behind the door). Check out this post on the Etsy blog for a review of Dorm Decor and the complete how-to on creating this zebra rug.